Galaxy in Peril

Episode 9 - Ground Tested

Hundreds of feet below the surface of the planet Cholganna the party rests up in the secret labs of Imperial Outpost 37 where they just learned about the existence of Project Overlord a program designed to find and possibly train force sensitive beings.

Dais gets to his feet after resting his wounds for a bit. “It would be a shame not to go check out the Ground Combat Testing area since we are already down here.” Teeku just gives a shrug still in shock over finding out about Beeko’s daughter. The party slowly get to their feet and make their way to the ground combat entrace.

Upon entering the doorway they see a huge cavern open up before them. It is over a mile long, the surprising thing is it looks like the middle of the day, as artificial daylight is being generated from massive lamps far up in the ceiling. Dais shields his eyes waiting for them to adjust to the brightness and then notices a lot of work has gone into making this a viable testing area. There is a small copse of trees to the left about half a mile away. There’s a road that leads down the middle of the grounds that passes between two large hills. At the end of the road are a number of buildings. Teeku finds out after a bit of digging in the computer system, that is where the experimental weapons are likely to be stored.

There are a couple storage lockers on the end by the entrance. Teeku spends some time trying to break into them. He succeeds on one that contains some imperial blaster rifles. Dais starts to get impatient “Come on Teeku let’s get to the good stuff, no one buys imperial blasters anyways.” With that said he starts down the road to the buildings at the end. The party passes a couple signs that indicate mine fields are ahead. Subconsciously everyone takes a few steps closer to the middle of the road.

Vet breaks the silence that was hanging over the party as they continue their walk to the buildings. “The Empire isn’t particularly forgiving. There is no way we’re getting out of this without a bounty on our heads, and I would know about Imperial bounties. That’s assuming we can get past the Imperial blockade, or worse yet the company of storm troopers that are probably going to be waiting for us at the top of the elevator.” As if on cue Teeku’s data-pad starts beeping. Looking down Teeku let’s out a grunt. “Looks like we’re about to find out just how angry the empire is. The life force detector I tapped into earlier is showing some significant movements up above. And they’re marching two by two.”

The party breaks into a run towards the buildings. Dais, IG-Z and Vet start looking for anything that will be useful. Teeku starts hacking into the security system. “I’ve got eyes in the elevator. They’ve activated it, it’s heading back to the surface.” Vet grabs a crate of frag grenades and some wire and starts running back towards the hills. Quickly setting up some makeshift tripwires. "We’ve got two squads of storm troopers coming down the elevator now. “Looks like some of them have some pretty long range rifles.” Teeku yells out. Dais scans the area, “Let’s make for the trees, Teeku see if you can get the door locked and the lights shut off.”

Several minutes of anticipation go by as the party sits in the dark, among the sparse set of trees. At the far end of the training area the entrance is lit up as the door slides open. One squad of storm troopers scan the area and then start down the road. Two groups of two split off to the right and left of the entrance, keeping a watchful eye. They do not appear to be inhibited by the dark.

The party tenses as the squad heading down the road disappear between the hills, only Vet with his perch in one of the trees is able to keep them in sight. A blinding explosion appears from between the hills, the deafening sound ricochets off the sides and ceiling of the cavern. Vet takes aim at the remaining standing member of the squad and squeezes the trigger, seeing the shot hit home he quickly turns his attention to the squads back towards the entrance. He lines up the shot and takes one of the them through the chest as the trooper starts to head for cover.

The remaining three start opening fire, shooting at IG-Z and Teeku, glowing red eye balls and the blue aura of a data-pad, shine like beacons in the dark, screaming out shoot here first. None of the shots connect and Dais, Teeku and IG-Z retreat back towards the buildings and the back of the training facility.

Meanwhile Vet lines up a shot at the remaining member of the squad to the right and squeezes the trigger, taking the trooper off of his feet. The remaining two troopers break for the entrance. Teeku seals the exit from his data-pad. The troopers start typing on the access pad. Vet climbs down from his perch and start to close the distance. The door slides open and the troopers run through making for the elevator. Vet gets down on a knee to steady himself and takes a deep breath steadying his aim. Dais yells out “They’re getting away shoot them.” Still Vet holds waiting, exhaling slowly, and as the last of his breath is out he pulls the trigger, a red bolt rips across the training grounds hitting the trailing storm trooper in the back, and passing through him the bolt catches the remaining trooper in the helmet. They both collapse in a heap.

Dais bursts out of his hiding spot “Nice shot Vet! Teeku get the lights on so we can get out of here.” Teeku fiddles with the datapad. “The Imperials have locked me out, I can’t even see what’s above now.” Dais heads up the road, “Well let’s see if we can cobble together one of these storm trooper outfits for me to wear. We can say IG-Z was one of the experiments down here. As for you guys…” Dais holds up a storm trooper helmet next to Vet’s head “yeah we’re going to have to find something else. Go check out the vehicle bay while I get this armor on.”

As Dais and IG-Z come out of the ground combat area, they find Vet and Teeku with huge grins on their faces, they’re sitting on the elevator perched on top of an AT-ST. Vet says “Took a bit to figure out the controls but we got it now. It’s missing a few guns but I think it’ll do the trick.” Dais smiles “Very nice, wish we could get that on our ship. Let’s get some crates piled up just in case this goes sideways, that way we’ll have something to hide behind when the blaster fire starts.”

A few minutes later the elevator starts to ascend, with Vet and Teeku inside the AT-ST, IG-Z and Dais on the elevator, Dais practicing his story all the way up “There were intruders, they were trying to steal this AT-ST but we managed to kill them and secure it and this droid. We lost everyone but the three of us.” I can do this Dais thinks to himself repeating the story like a mantra. As the elevator gets to the top Dais is greeted by a storm trooper sergeant with a squad standing behind him guns aimed at the elevator. Dais glances around and sees some light repeating blaster rifles setup around the perimeter. Vet whispers to Teeku “Damn, we’re in a tight spot.”

The sergeant looks up at the AT-ST then back to Dais “Report trooper.” The mantra slips between Dais fingers, trying to hold to the story on he bursts out “They’re all dead, I killed all the intruders but they killed everyone else.” Teeku and Vet look at each other incredulously, “that wasn’t the plan what is he doing.” Dais continues on “They ambushed us they were using this AT-ST took half of us out before we even knew the thing was operational.” The sergeant looks skeptical “And how did you manage to get them out of it.” Dais feels a glimmer of hope at the fact he hasn’t been shot dead where he stands, yet. “We retreated to an area the AT-ST couldn’t access and took them out as they tried to enter. They didn’t have any sort of tactical training, nothing like what the Empire provides.” Teeku rolls his eyes whispering to Vet “Laying it on a little thick isn’t he?” The sergeant nods apparently accepting the story “What’s with the droid?” Dais gains more confidence as it becomes clear the sergeant is buying the story. “The droid was part of the research being done down here, I assumed we shouldn’t leave it behind for any other thieves that come along.” The sergeant nods again. “Good work, join up with squad one and take the droid to the ship for a memory download and then wipe it. The rest of us will finish securing the area. Oh and disarm that droid, you never know when one of those things is going to snap.” Dais takes IG-Z’s ax and straps it to his back. Vet and Teeku look at each other, “Well now what?” Vet asks, Teeku just smiles “Now we wait for that sweet sound of blaster fire, shouldn’t be long I imagine.”

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